Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, has called for a more ‘considered, respectful, tolerant debate’ on trans rights, and stated that ‘trans women are women.’
When asked by Times Radio for the definition of a woman, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said that she did not want to go down the ‘rabbit holes.’
When Starmer was asked the same question he responded: ‘A woman is a female adult, and in addition to that trans women are women, and that is not just my view — that is actually the law. It has been the law through the combined effects of the 2004 [Gender Recognition] Act and the 2010 [Equality] Act. So that’s my view. It also happens to be the law in the United Kingdom.’
Call for reform
Starmer called for reforms of the Gender Recognition Act. Currently, under this act people diagnosed with gender dysphoria who have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years can apply to be legally recognised.
He told The Times, ‘the process that people have to go through does need to be looked at,’ because ‘if you talk to anybody who’s been through the process there’s a real issue about respect and dignity.’
This year, the Scottish government has introduced legislation which simplifies how an individual changes their legal gender. The legislation proposes dropping the need for medical and psychiatric reports, reducing the waiting time from two years to three months, and will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to apply.
Starmer discussed these plans and said: ‘The Gender Recognition Act needs to be reformed. And I believe in safe spaces for women — I’m very clear about those too. I think the 2004 act needs to be reformed, I think the 2010 act, the Equality Act, which does provide for safe spaces for women is right. And therefore I’m very straightforward about this.’
He also called for a ‘more considered, respectful, tolerant debate about these issues,’ adding, ‘I don’t think it furthers the interests of anybody to continue the debate in the way that it’s been going on now for some time.’
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